Gat Foods and Resorcix introduce botanical ingredient that prevents bacterial growth in RTD beverages

Gat Foods, in collaboration with the Israeli startup Resorcix Ltd., have introduced Flavorwatch, a botanical ingredient which prevents Thermophillic Acidophilic Bacteria (TAB) spoilage in clear, fruit-based beverages.

Gat Foods (Giva’at Haim, Israel), in collaboration with the Israeli startup Resorcix Ltd. have introduced Flavorwatch, a botanical ingredient which prevents Thermophillic Acidophilic Bacteria (TAB) spoilage in clear, fruit-based beverages. The bacterial strain negatively impacts the quality and organoleptic properties of most still, non-alcoholic beverages. TAB can withstand pasteurization, and originates from certain ingredients used in beverage preparations, such as sugar, pectin, water, and fruit concentrates.

TAB spoilage is characterized by a hazy appearance and a discharge of smoky, clove-like smell upon opening the beverage, as well as medicinal flavor. While nonpathogenic, TAB contamination often leads to customer complaints and may trigger costly recalls. Containing natural compounds with proven bacteriolytic effects, Flavorwatch maintains the organoleptic characteristics of the beverage while also disintegrating TAB cells in the germination phase, preventing the bacteria from producing the off flavors and unpleasant smelling metabolites.

“Building a CPG brand leaves zero room for failures in quality control,” says Shachar Shaine, CEO of Gat Foods, in a press release. “Consumers deserve full transparency and maximum quality throughout the entire shelf life of a beverage. But while TAB-related recalls can damage a company’s image and destroy consumer trust in the brand, we can help bottlers keep their positive brand image.”

“Bacteriologists know that spores are almost impossible to eradicate", says Lior Sinai, PhD and CTO of Resorcix. “That's why we were extremely excited to discover natural molecules of plant origin that can eliminate these multi-resistant bacterial spores.”

The ingredient is classified as a natural flavoring by FDA, EFSA, JETRO (Japan), and the Israeli Ministry of Health. Flavorwatch has a mild herbal flavor that is imperceptible in the beverage since only minimal amounts are needed to maintain the product’s clear appearance and sensory attributes. In both pilot and industrial-scale tests of the ingredient, supervised by microbiologist Roni Shapira, PhD, of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, a pinapple-based RTD beverage treated with Flavorwatch showed zero colonies of Alicyclobacillus over a span of six months.